A completely surrendered and clean heart allows the Holy Spirit to fully work in a believer’s life.
Do you have any cleaning projects for the new year?
This week, we started our new series Follow the Filling with a look at “A Place to Land.” We know from scripture that the Holy Spirit fills and indwells the believer at the moment of salvation. As a believer submits and surrenders their life to Christ, they are transformed by the Spirit into His image. This is our progressive growth in holiness. Because we know the Spirit will not fill a “dirty vessel,” it is necessary for believers to clean their vessel (heart) with confession and repentance of sin. The more the Spirit fills us, the more we can live the abundant life of victory and experience God’s presence. That way, believers are able to follow the Spirit wherever He leads!
Primary Scripture: Luke 4:14-21
- Read Luke 4:14-21. Luke 4:18-19 is our theme verse this year at Faith Promise. These verses came from the prophet Isaiah. Read Isaiah 61:1-2. Which of these promises of who Jesus is and what He will do means the most to you right now?
- Who are the poor and brokenhearted today?
- Explain how one is captive or imprisoned today. Who can set them free?
- How is one “blind” today, and how is “sight” restored?
- Who is God laying on your heart that needs to hear the good news? How will you trust Him to give you every word to share the real love and hope found only in Jesus?
- How does knowing the SAME Spirit of God that equipped and enabled Jesus’ ministry dwells in your heart affect your outlook for 2019? What in your life do you allow to limit the filling and power of the Spirit? What is God asking you to surrender so He can fill you to overflowing with His Spirit?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 4:14-21 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.
This week, our focus was providing a clean place for God’s Holy Spirit to land. In smaller groups of 2 or 3, discuss and encourage one another on the importance of keeping short accounts with God—that is to identify, confess, and repent of our sins in order to allow the Spirit to fill us and work in our life. Partial surrender is not surrender at all. God’s wants our all. If possible, share how God has blessed your submission to Him.
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: Please join us as we do a church-wide 21-Day Fast beginning Monday, January 7. You can fast one meal or one day, one meal per day, or do a Daniel fast. You can fast from social media or television. Fasting is not a diet to lose weight. When you fast, use the time you would have spent eating/posting/scrolling/watching to read God’s Word and specifically pray for a fresh filling in your life and for other Promisors. If you are looking for a place to start your scripture reading, join Faith Promise in our Bible reading plan. You can find the One-Year Bible Reading plan in the back of your “Follow the Filling” devotional book. The book is available FREE at each campus and includes a devotional for each day in January.
Engaging in Community/Engaging the World: God called each of us out of our poverty and imprisonment to a life of freedom found only in His Son, Jesus Christ. How will you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a hurting a dying world? Step out in faith and share the only lasting source of hope and freedom.
Expand God’s Kingdom
In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote this about surrendering your life to Jesus:
Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked–the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself; my own will shall become yours.’
How will you surrender “All” this year and follow the filling in humility and compassion? How will you share the good news of the gospel of His real love?
- Answers will vary.
- Sin weakens and breaks hearts, and Jesus came to bring good news to the poor—forgiveness for their sin. We are all poor and brokenhearted until we surrender our life to Christ; we are all hopeless sinners in desperate need of a Savior! (Matthew 11:5) We are all poor in a spiritual sense until we surrender to Christ, but your group may share prayer requests at this time for those they know experiencing material poverty or grief.
- Sin makes people captive and enslaves them. The Messiah/Jesus came to set us free! (Romans 6:6) Other answers may include prisoners of war, people captive in human trafficking, or those imprisoned by addiction.
- Sin blinds us. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He packages up sin to make it look so good, but it is always deceitful. The enemy’s aim is destruction, but Christ came to heal our spiritual and moral blindness. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
- Answers will vary. Encourage sharing the truth with boldness, humility and compassion! We cannot do this on our own, but we can in the filling and power of the Holy Spirit!
- Answers will vary. This can lead to an in-depth discussion. Lead your group members to see that we cannot fulfill our Christian calling and go on with our lives doing as we like. Christ wants ALL of our lives not just parts we are willing to share.
ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.
– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.
– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.
– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.
– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.